Show Ring Nerves…

Does anyone know of any books, horse related or not, that would help riders/drivers with show ring nerves? I know alot of athletes have had luck with a book or a method and I just wondered if any of them were known to be particularly good.


8 Responses to Show Ring Nerves…

  1. ladyhawk789 says:

    I don’t know of any books but I have heard that there is some lavendar oil that the rider can put on there lip and it calms them..

  2. Beth says:

    I am assuming you have amateurs who get anxious before showing. I have brought this up in this forum before, but the best suggestion we have used at my barn is to take a walk!!
    We actually call it “Longeing the kids” I would take them on a brisk walk or run the morning of their class, so it ended up that we walked most days. It always helped me, and now the kids do it too.
    When people get jittery before showing, its the extra adrenalin preparing to run, the fight or flight instinct. Unfortunately the horse only senses the jitters as preparing for “flight”, setting the whole class up for disaster, as now the horse wonders what he needs to run from. By burning off the extra adrenaline before hand, the whole situation will improve. This is a physiologically sound approach to dealing with any pre-performance anxiety. I think as an Amateur we think we should preserve our energy, but that may not be the case.
    This has helped me over the years, and now I have a whole bunch of teenage girls who appreciate the effect of a little exercise if they are getting anxious about a particular class. You may not need it everday, but if you are thinking about your class and getting that shaky feeling, or that feeling in the pit of your stomach…this will help! have them try it!

  3. StacyGRS says:

    Thanks Beth. I’ll give that a try. My actual goal is to find something to help them in the ring…something to help them not let the atmosphere take over.
    I would bet this does help though.

  4. RaeOfLight says:

    Here’s a thread on this issue I found awhile ago in one of my archives dives: A lot of it is pre-class prep. But still some helpful tips.

  5. smccullo says:

    “That Winning Feeling: Programming your Mind for Peak Performance” by Jane Savoie. She is a dressage rider and has written several books on this. Unfortunately I haven’t read them, only excerpts, but this one sounds very good. Go to and read some reviews. I should probably buy it myself ;-)


  6. PlayMorBill says:

    Cookie cutter solutions never work with horses, much less people. “Trailer Your Horse with Nothing but a Carrot” -or- “Show Ring Jitters? Take Two Margarittas and Call Me in the Morning”. That’s why I never read equine books. There’s good general knowledge, tips and advice, but there’s no way to teach, much less transfer, touch, timing and instinct. These are the horse trainers primary tools and come not from a book, but from years of hands-on experience at both the School of Hard Knocks (near Nashville) and those Disney World sized lines where they pay their dues.

    This, of course, has nothing to do with the Topic at Hand.

    For those nervous nellies, we focus on blue ribbon rides and leaving the actual placings to the judge. We’ve walked away from many a class with no ribbon but huge smiles when they’ve worked their horse perfectly.

    Confidence will calm those nerves more then any book, and confidence comes from successful experiences. It’s up to the Trainers to place their clients in a position to succeed.

  7. Beth says:

    “Confidence will calm those nerves more then any book, and confidence comes from successful experiences. It’s up to the Trainers to place their clients in a position to succeed.”
    Bill.. that is one of the most insightful and profound message to trainers I have ever had the privledge of reading. Thanks.

  8. PlayMorBill says:

    Thanks. I used the same philosophy with my kids. :)

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